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Draft law proposed in Moldova Parliament to deprive ex-PM Vlad Filat of his deputy seat

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The governing majority in the Parliament of Moldova proposes to deprive the imprisoned former Prime-Minister Vlad Filat of his seat in the legislative. A law in this sense was proposed in the juridical commission of the Parliament on December 9th, reports Deschide.md.

The head of the juridical commission, Democrat Raisa Apolschi, commented for Deschide that the majority has premises to deprive Filat of the deputy seat, since a decision of the Constitutional Court stipulates the execution function of definitive decisions, such as in ex-PM`s case.

“The General Prosecution Office asked for the removal of the impunity, the Office respectively has the obligation to inform us when is final decision, which it did. Furthermore, the Parliament would only have to take the decision that are imposed”, explained Apolschi.

Former Liberal-Democrat Prime-Minister, Vlad Filat, was arrested on October 15th 2015 for allegations of passive corruption and traffic influence towards the then businessman and now mayor of Orhei, Ilan Shor. On June 27th 2016, he was condemned to nine years of closed imprisonment by the Court Buiucani of Chişinău, decision reinforced by the Appeal Court of Chişinău on November 11th.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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The Electoral Block “ACUM”: We ask the CEC to secure the right to vote of 500,000 citizens with expired passports

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The Electoral Bloc “ACUM” demands the Central Electoral Commission to urgently adopt a decision in order to secure the right to vote of 500,000 citizens who, according to the party, hold expired passports.

The electoral bloc specified that the lack of a valid passport does not create a constitutional basis in order to prohibit the citizen’s right to vote.

In the 2010 and 2014 parliamentary elections as well as in the presidential elections in 2016, the Central Electoral Commission has regularly adopted resolutions permitting voting with the expired passport.

Before the presidential election in 2016, over 400,000 citizens owned expired passports. The “ACUM block claims that their number certainly exceeds 500,000 at present day.

“Without such a decision, the free and fair election of 24 February 2019 will be irremediably affected, and the international community’s recognition of elections will become more and more unlikely,” they declared.

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The complaints filed by Vlad Filat with the European Court of Human Rights will be examined as a matter of priority

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Victor Munteanu, the lawyer of the former prime minister of Moldova – Vlad Filat, submitted a petition requesting to prioritize the examination of the complaints advanced earlier to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the case of Vlad Filat. The request was approved, as on January 9th the representative of Vlad Filat was informed that the complaints will be examined as a matter of priority.

When examining such requests, the Court takes into account the importance and urgency of the issues raised by the applicants. In the case of Vlad Filat’s requests, the President of Section II decided that the complaints should be treated as a matter of priority.

Vlad Filat was arrested in the Parliament building on October 15th, 2015, after a declaration made by Ilan Şor concerning the Great Moldovan Bank Robbery. The former prime minister of Moldova was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment, being accused of lobbyism and passive corruption. The estimated damage reached the amount of 250 million dollars, being represented by funds that were withdrawn from state-owned banks.

Vlad Filat has filed two complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, through which he claimed violation of human rights protected by the European Convention: the right to liberty and security, detention conditions, the right to a fair trial, deprivation of the deputy mandate before the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice was announced and the political nature of the criminal case started against him.

Featured image source: sputnik.md

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A new year – new electoral concerts and gifts. The tricks used by the Moldovan politicians before the parliamentary election

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Beside the fact that the new electoral system is really tangled and confusing for the citizens who will vote on February 24th, it brings new elements of cheating, propaganda, electoral corruption and defiance of the electoral regulation. And that’s only the beginning of the electoral period in Moldova.

The confusing electoral system

The parliamentary elections, in February 2019, will be held based on the mixed electoral system. That means that every Moldovan citizen will have to vote on 2 electoral lists: one list will include all the candidates from the political parties running for 50 places in the parliament, representing the national constituency. Another list will include the candidates for 51 places representing 51 uninominal constituencies, the lists being different for every uninominal constituency that, generally speaking, corresponds to the country’s districts. That’s already quite confusing, right?

The position of the Republic of Moldova in the top of countries by the Democracy Index, elaborated by The Economist publication, goes lower and lower from one year to another. Whereas in 2017 Moldova ranked the 78th in the top, it got one position lower in 2018, keeping the decreasing general trend since 2006 on.  In the Republic of Moldova, the democracy is deteriorating. This is what The Economist report mainly shows. It happens while the electoral concerts are organised, while people receive small amounts of money in order to protest for a cause they even can’t name, and while the previously accused figures of the Great Bank Robbery in Moldova are running for the parliamentary elections.

The electoral tricks

In the first week of 2019, the candidates for the uninominal constituencies were started to be announced. Among them are some artists like Nicolae Botgros, a popular Moldovan musician and bandmaster, that decided to run as an independent candidate for the uninominal constituency representing the district Cantemir, where he was born. It wouldn’t be a problem so far, as any person has the right to become a politician and to run for a place in the Parliament. However, Botgros gave a speech in Strășeni, another uninominal constituency, offering his support for a candidate from the Democratic Party (DPM), namely for Pavel Filip, the current prime minister of the country. Taking into consideration the above-mentioned fact, we could suppose that Nicolae Botgros, the independent candidate that may become a member of the parliament, will support the DPM party in the future as well. The more independent candidates support the DPM, the bigger the possibility that they will hold a majority government is.

One more example of the electoral tricks used during the electoral period is the appearance of a so-called independent candidate that has almost the same name as one of the candidates of extra-governmental opposition. Therefore, people could be confused when having to choose between Andrei Năstase, the leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party (DTPP) and Andrei Nastas, an independent candidate, registered on the same uninominal constituency. Both candidates’ names will appear next to each other on the electoral ballot. It is hard to call it a coincidence, as on the same uninominal constituency nr. 33, which includes several suburb cities of Chisinau, runs Constantin Țuțu, the candidate from the DPM. Andrei Năstase, the DTPP leader, declared that it is not more than a trap for voters in order to divide the number of votes.

A similar situation was registered in 2016 at the presidential elections, when in the very last moment a new candidate appeared on the ballots – Maia Laguta, an independent candidate with the logo “MAIA” and had, supposedly, the role of distracting from one of the most important candidates – Maia Sandu, the leader of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS).

The expensive electoral concerts

But all of this seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the fact that such persons as Ilan Șor and Vladimir Plahotniuc will participate in the ellections. Ilan Șor was sentenced in trial court to seven and half years in prison for involvement in the Moldovan Great Bank Robbery. Vladimir Plahotniuc is one of the most controversial persons in the Moldovan politics that directly owns several media platforms and TV channels and was reported by the press as having undeclared assets.

Even worse is that their supporters seem to not care about that, saying the mind-blowing phrase: “Anyway, all of them steal. These guys, at least, share something with us as well.” A detailed portrait of such voters is described here. The behaviour of the people that come to the Ilan Șor electoral concerts of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but don’t care or don’t want to know about the source of this money, as well as about the Șor’s biography, can’t be explained.

Ilan Șor and Stas Mihailov (a Russian singer) at the concert organised by the Șor Political Party
Photo source: Facebook/The Șor political party

According to the second Promo-LEX monitoring report on parliamentary elections, at least 3 political parties (DPM, the Șor Political Party and PSRM) that registered their electoral candidates for the parliamentary elections organised  events that can be qualified as gifts during the electoral period. These include charity campaigns, New Year’s Eve celebrations, concerts, festive meals and trips organised in the period between December 10th, 2018 and January 8th, 2019. Also, cases of involvement in electoral activities of charity foundations associated with certain political parties were registered. Out of 100 events qualified by Promo-Lex as being acts of electoral corruption, 42 were organised by the PSRM, 41 by the Șor Political Party and 17 by the DPM.

At least 7 moderators, 22 animators, 23 artists (including international ones) were involved in the respective activities. Promo-LEX estimated an amount of minimum 3,776,917 lei (almost 200 000 Euro) as financial means that brought political and electoral advantages but were not included in the financial funds reported by the parties.

Adding the declarations of the extra-parliamentary opposition leaders regarding the intimidation exercised on the parties’ members and activists, the picture of the future election becomes depressing, justifying the aforementioned low Democracy Index in the country.

According to Petru Grozavu’s declaration in one of the recent editorials in Ziarul de Gardă, “Vladimir Plahotniuc and the DPM will fight at the parliamentary elections not with Igor Dodon and PSRM, but with Maia Sandu, Andrei Năstase and the electoral bloc ACUM. They will seek any possible and impossible way to discredit them nationally and in diaspora, and to remove them from the list of Western sympathies. The 2016 scenario is repeated. What’s new is that the DPM will try to exploit the anti-Russia and pro-American ideas as much as possible, in the context of the Russian-American tensions in the Black Sea. At least, this is what Andrian Candu did during his last interview for The Washington Times,” declared Grozavu.

All of these happen while the Moldovan citizens are not interested in politics, are not willing to vote at the election but hope to live in a better country in the future.

Featured photo source: Facebook/The Șor Political Party

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